International

Soccer fan sentenced to 14 weeks for punching Villa player

2019-03-11 18:30
Jack Grealish (AFP)

Birmingham - A Birmingham supporter was sentenced to 14 weeks in jail on Monday after admitting to assaulting Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish during a match between two of English soccer's biggest rivals.

In the League Championship game on Sunday, Paul Mitchell ran onto the field and landed a punch on the player's face.

"Mr Grealish felt a punch to the right side of his lower jaw and he realized he has been assaulted by a Blues supporter," prosecutor Jonathan Purser said. "Footage showed him taking a running swing and jumping on the back of Mr Grealish and throwing that punch. It appears to have caused no physical injuries, fortunately."

Grealish later scored to give Villa a 1-0 victory over Birmingham. The 27-year-old Mitchell entered his guilty plea at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

Mitchell's lawyer told the hearing that his client's family had to leave their home "through fear that they would suffer serious harm or even death" following online comments about the incident.

"My client doesn't seek to justify his behaviour at all," lawyer Vaughn Whistance said. "He has brought shame upon himself and his family ... and the football club he has supported since he was a child.

"He apologizes to Aston Villa and in particular Jack Grealish for his terrible behaviour. He cannot explain what came over him. He is certainly remorseful today."

In a separate incident, a man was charged in London for going on the Emirates Stadium field and pushing Manchester United defender Chris Smalling. Gary Cooper appeared to be trying to join Arsenal players in celebrating a goal in the Premier League game on Sunday.

Cooper was charged with "common assault and going on to the playing area" and will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on March 26, police said.

 

Read more on:    aston villa  |  birmingham  |  jack grealish  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Who will emerge victorious in this season's Champions League?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.